DebtSmart.com Thursday, January 21, 2021

Drowning in debt

by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker Scott Bilker is the founder of DebtSmart.com and author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card DebtCredit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. Receive the 5-Year Loan Spreadsheet when you subscribe to his email newsletter.

Dear Scott,
I am drowning in debt. I am attempting to figure out a budget that is livable. WE have a daughter going to college next fall, a grown son that has moved back home and a son who has moved out but we cosigned for his truck payment so we are stuck with that. I was tempted to order your book but I have gotten so many debt books but nothing that will help me. I looked at our credit card debt which is more than I make in a year. I work but had a second job that is not working out. My husband works full-time. We just need help in figuring out what to do. Thanks for at least listening.
–Jeanie

Answer
Jeanie,
Thanks for writing!

Sounds like you really have your hands full…each of the situations you’re dealing with requires much work to resolve. I hope that I can provide you with some useful ideas.

I don’t have to mention how expensive college is becoming. It’s already double the cost then when I attended just 10 years ago. Make sure you look into financing options right away. You can find out about the details of government backed loans at the Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov/.

Also, consider having your daughter attend a community college for the first two years. Most of the credits would probably transfer to four-year colleges. I took this route and it saved me thousands of dollars in tuition!

I have been buried by debt before so I know how tough it is to deal with. If I had a grown son who moved back home at that time I would ask him to contribute to the family, financially. I wouldn’t want to ask but sometimes you have no choice.

From the way you mentioned this it sounds like there is no chance that you’re going to be able to get any money at all for the truck payments. Can you convince him to sell the truck and get a less expensive vehicle?

Getting debt under control is about getting organized, creating a plan, being disciplined and following your plan, limiting spending, and taking advantage of your best loan options to reduce the cost of the debt by lowering your interest rates. I think that you’re doing the right thing by learning about credit and taking action to pay back debt.

Read my article about getting lower interest rates by clicking here.

You mentioned that you want my book but you’re not sure if it would help. I stand behind my book with a full money back guarantee. Also, you may be able to find it in your local library.

Sometimes, even after a good plan, you may not be able to get the debt under control, then it may be time to consider other options, maybe even bankruptcy. You can learn more about bankruptcy from Nolo.com.

Another option is credit counseling. If you would like me to make a recommendation just fill out the form at the DebtSmart® Help Center.

Good luck and please keep in touch to let me know what happens!

Scott